Could the hills of San Francisco have gotten steeper? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like it. I was last there decades ago. I was younger and had more energy. And I was on an expense account every time, so had a car or took taxis.
This time around no one was paying for wheels and I didn’t have much time, so a walking tour after my plane landed was the extent of my exploration. And the first trek was from the Powell Street BART station up the hill to my hotel, at Sutter and Mason. The scene outside the station was cool, a cable car turnaround and a tree-lined street. But then I looked up and there it was, a hell of a hill. Call it more of a stroll, with lots of mini-breaks. After stashing the luggage at the hotel, it was on to Nob Hill, around past the Mark Hopkins and the Fairmont, where I used to stay on my expense-account trips, and on to Union Square, all on foot. And all the while making sure I was UPHILL from the hotel. By 4 I was back at the hotel, ready for a nap!
This was a quick there-and-back trip. Left at daybreak one day and was back at midnight the next. The Sierra Club picked up air fare and a night in a hotel and I obliged by showing up on time for a reception and ceremony, where I picked up a National award for my many years of volunteer administrative work for the Loxahatchee Group and the Florida Chapter.
The recognition was nice, after years of supporting the ‘dull’ non-conservation activities of the club, things like newsletters, email listservs, meetings, award shows, new-member letters, advisory committees, strategic planning sessions, and the like—the things that need to get done if the more visible, conservation oriented work is going to happen. Things like the lawsuits, which are very nice when you win. And the good environmental candidates who occasionally get elected. And the Loxahatchee River, which is now a protected, federally-designated Wild and Scenic River. Yes, a pat on the back helps the attitude. And, after putting in 15 years of handing out awards annually in the Florida Chapter, it was nice to be on the receiving end!